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United Nations News Centre - New bill in Finland threatens Sami peoples’ right to traditional lands, livelihoods, UN expert warns

2.1.16

United Nations News Centre - New bill in Finland threatens Sami peoples’ right to traditional lands, livelihoods, UN expert warns: “The new draft bill presented to the Finnish Parliament earlier this month no longer contains valuable safeguards for the Sami people's rights to traditional livelihoods, lands, territories and resources, which had been included in the previous draft approved in 2014,” warned the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

“I hope that the draft law will consider that the Sami Parliament and the Skolt Sami Village Council have had limited opportunities to take part in this process which is contrary to article 19 of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Finland has endorsed,” she said.

According to the new bill, most of the Sami Homeland will be transferred to a new State-owned company that has yet to be established, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This new company will have the responsibility for all logging carried out on State-owned lands in Finland, including in the Sami Homeland region.


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